Tremor in Peru: 3.7 magnitude earthquake with epicenter in Arequipa

A magnitude 3.7 earthquake It happened this Sunday, December 11, in the city of Pinchollo, in the province of Caylloma, in the department of Arequipa, according to the most recent information from the National Seismological Center (Censis) of the Geophysical Institute of Peru (IGP).

According to reports obtained through the National Seismic Network, the movement began at 04:49 (local time) and originated 9 kilometers southwest of Pinchollo.

The earthquake had a depth of 8 kilometers, an intensity of III; as well as a latitude and longitude of -15.68 and -71.89 degrees.

Due to its magnitude, its alert range was green.

The green color range is used for earthquakes of magnitudes less than 4.4; yellow is assigned to movements whose magnitude ranges between 4.5 to 6.0; while with the red color earthquakes are designated greater than 6.1.

As to The intensitythe scales indicate the following:

I: it is a movement “not felt” that does not represent “no harm”.

II-III: it is a movement “weak” that does not represent “no harm”.

IV: It is a movement “light” that does not represent “no harm”.

V: it is a movement “moderate” which represents “very little harm”.

VI: it is a movement “strong” which represents “little harm”.

VII: it is a movement “very strong” which implies “moderate damage”.

VIII: It is a movement “severe” which implies “moderate or heavy damage”.

IX: it is a movement “violent” which implies “a lot of damage”.

X+: This is a move “extreme” which causes “substantial damage”.

The CENSIS of the GPI obtains its data from the National Seismic Networkformed and integrated by a series of speed, acceleration and displacement sensors distributed throughout the country.

types of earthquakes
Types of earthquakes and their scales. (Illustration: Jovani Pérez).

The region with the most volcanoes in the world

Peru is located in the area known as the Pacific Ring of Firea region that concentrates 75% of the volcanoes that exist in the world and where approximately the 80% of the strongest telluric movements of the world.

Also known as the Pacific Ring of Fire, it is made up of the mountainous area of ​​western Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, the United States and Canada, for then round off the Aleutian Islands and down the coasts and islands of Russia, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, East Timor, Brunei, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and New Zealand.

In the case of Peru, the country is in the South American tectonic plate colliding head-on with the Nazca plate, when they are in friction, they generate tension, which is discharged in the form of earthquakes; In addition, the region presents constant volcanic activity.

The Ring of Fire extends over 40 thousand kilometers and has the shape of a horseshoe, in addition, within this line there are 452 volcanoes and it is home to most of the so-called “supervolcanoes”, whose eruptions are at VEI-8 levels, considered catastrophic.

The deadliest earthquakes in Peru

types of earthquakes
Earthquake in Peru in 2016. (AP)

The Latin American nation has had to face various seismic events that have left hundreds dead, injured and innumerable material damages. Here is a list of the most relevant ones.

May 31, 1970

The magnitude 7.9 earthquake originated in the department of Áncash, followed by a flood that buried the city of Santo Domingo de Yungay at 3:23 p.m.

This fact It is considered the most destructive earthquake in the country’s history.not only because of the magnitude but also because of the number of fatalities it caused, estimated at 67,000according to the document “The Ancash earthquake and the avalanche of the Nevado Huascaran”, written by the geophysicist and scientific adviser of the National Institute of Civil Defense (Indeci), Mateo Casaverde, while there were also 150,000 injuries, affecting the same way to the departments of Huácamo, Lima and La Libertad.

Due to this catastrophe, in 1972 the Peruvian government founded the National Institute of Civil Defense, in charge of devising plans to deal with this type of accident and preparing national drills every May 31st.

October 3, 1974

A 8.0 magnitude earthquake It was recorded in the capital, Lima, at 09:21, a movement that was also felt on the Peruvian coast to the south. The movement lasted around 90 seconds and left 252 dead and 3,600 injured.

May 29, 1990

Another earthquake of 6.4 caused the death of 77 people, left 1,680 injured, 58,835 homeless and 11 thousand homes destroyed. The movement, which began at 9:34 a.m., affected the cities of San Martín, Amazonas, Cajamarca, Rioja, Moyobamba, Chachapoyas, Jaén, and Bagua.

June 23, 2001

An earthquake of magnitude 6.9 affected southern Peru in the regions of Moquegua, Tacna and Arequipa, leaving 74 people dead, 2,689 injured, more than 21,000 homeless, 64 people missing, 35,601 homes affected, of which 17,584 were destroyed.

The earthquake had several aftershocks and had an intensity of VIII, which generated a tsunami which also caused another 26 deaths. It was the most devastating tremor after the 1970 Ancash tremor and the largest worldwide after the Rat Islands.

August 15, 2007

Peru was hard hit by . Occurred at 6:40 p.m., the earthquake in Pisco de magnitude 8 had a duration of 3 minutes 50 seconds. It was one of the most violent earthquakes that occurred in Peru in recent years, being surpassed by the Arequipa earthquake of 2001. This fact left 596 people deceased.

May 26, 2019

One of the last earthquakes registered in Peru was the one known as the “Loreto earthquake”, which had a magnitude of 8 and originated at 02:41 local time and consequently left one person dead and more than 2,500 people affected.


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